Monday, November 01, 2004

Vegas, Baby, part deux

Guest poster Melinda tells her tale of going to Las Vegas to volunteer for Kerry this weekend and why she just might go back tonight.

I am Todd's "friend Melinda" who volunteered with him this weekend, and is debating (bags are packed and waiting in the car right now) of hopping on a bus at 7pm to go back through the desert and work through Election Day in Las Vegas.

Why? I keep asking myself this same question. This weekend was not easy: dealing with large groups of only marginally organized people; eating the pre-determined food at the pre-determined time; being windburnt and sunburnt; walking and knocking and walking and knocking; getting lost in a maze of lower-income apartment homes; getting screamed at by a crazy woman threatening to sic the police on us for "soliciting" in her precious gated community; approaching people in their homes about often polarizing politics; having dirty hands all the time and using port-a-potties. These things I chose to patiently endure. But, above all, what's really hard, is the exhaustion factor. I am so tired that I'm feeling dizzy as I type this ... and I am considering doing this all over again - only in a more intense fashion.

Well, why? I'll tell you why.

Because I think all the time about my nieces and nephews and the myriad youth that I work with at church. And I think about what another four years of Bush could do to our nation, our world, our culture, our bodies. And it's (somewhat, to the point that non-biased entities actually control the election and that each voice is heard that wishes to be) fair for us - those who can vote and do or don't. It's somewhat fair that the choice we make is the choice we make, that our voices are heard and acknowledged, and we get a president.

But it's not fair for those who have no voice: are too young to have a loud-enough voice; are too poor to have their voice heard (as working three jobs is more important to survival than getting the time off to register or ink their dot); are silenced by a language barrier. It's not fair that the children and the poor who are relying on us to make their decisions, could be and have been let down over and over and over again by the man who we presently call Mr. President.

It's up to us, and by that, I mean, it's up to me. I take this race personally, because I hear those unspoken voices in my head. And right now, they are screaming at me for Kerry '04.


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